Thursday, June 19, 2008

FOOTBALL: Euro Talk!

Romania Broke My Heart

Romania have let me down. I was hoping they could rid us of the boring likes of Italy and France all in one blow - even Marco Van Basten seemed to want the same outcome seeing he played 9 players I almost never heard of in my entire football-watching life - but the Romanians just couldn't man up against the Holland bench.

Meanwhile, a flavorless Italy highlighted by one of the slowest strikers in the game, Luca Pony (courtesty of Early Döorß), and shameless underwear parading, Antonio Cassano, ousted 10-man France (actually we could say 9 given that Anelka touched the ball as many times as the linesmen did) and for some reason the Italians are now showing off, in their underwear nonetheless, and have their coach, Donadoni saying stuff like: "I didn't have any doubts. We have a team which can beat anyone." !!!!!!!

"The Goose" is the Man

Van Basten isn't the only Dutch who knows what he's doing with his team. Russia coach, Guus Hiddink, managed to pull his team together who had to win today against Sweden to qualify to the quarters and they did just that, as they beat the Scandinavians 2-0 to set up a last-eight meeting with Holland in Basel on Saturday.

The Russians played beautifully as they displayed some sweet passing abilities that set up 2 goals and several missed chances towards the end.

Hiddink is known to make more than the most of what he has as he led Holland to the 1998 World Cup semis before he did the same with South Korea 4 years later, followed by a second round appearance with Australia, who were making their first showing in 32 years at the 2006 World Cup.

I doubt Hiddink will be able to pull it off against his home country, given Holland's flawless performance so far at the Euro, but I'm interested to see how Russia will hold up against the Dutch.

Spaniards Remain Undefeated

The Spanish reserve team managed to pull off a third win for their side after they came back from behind to beat Greece 2-1 and join Holland and Croatia as the only teams to qualify to the quarters without losing any matches.

Spain are set to play Italy in Vienna on Sunday and I think it's about time they made something of themselves. Italy will be playing without Pirlo and Gattuso while Spain have rested most of their squad (except for Iniesta) and lethal duo, Torres and Villa, will be more than ready for the Italians.

Am rooting for Spain so let's hope they keep up the good run.

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